Intelligence squared at a new smart family home in Finland

Intelligence squared at a new smart family home in Finland

In a single-family house in Oulu, Finland, an ABB-free@home® system controls everything from the lights and curtains to defrost cables for gutters, resulting in new levels of comfort, convenience, and energy efficiency.

Imagine a home that is designed to be as unique as you are, with the very best in comfort, security, design, and energy efficiency available at the touch of a button, remotely or from the comfort of your armchair.    

ABB leverages open, scalable digital solutions and intelligent technologies such as ABB-free@home® to electrify the homes of the future with products and services that drive energy efficiency and sustainability1. This opens the door to a new era of comfort and convenience – and a safer, smarter built environment.  

In the coastal city of Oulu, local resident Vesa-Pekka Palokangas envisaged a smart, comfortable, energy efficient detached house near the sea - one that was suited to life and conditions in central Finland. ABB-free@home® automation system was chosen as the ideal solution to support these living goals.

Future-proofing your home

An intelligent automation system takes care of the various functions within the home and ensures enhanced levels of comfort. As per the client’s requirements, the system had to be both programmable and open to modification with new features in the future.  

Local electrical contractor, Jaitec Oy was responsible for the electrical design of the new house. Having already used ABB-free@home® in their own office and tested out its different functionalities, the company knew that all the requirements for the project would be met.   “In our office, the lighting can be adjusted with just one button,” explained Jani Ahola from Jaitec Oy.

“It's nice and easy to present the different functions when the system is already in use in your own premises.” This helped the customer get a glimpse of what possibilities there were for setting up the system in their own home.

Convenience through automation – whatever the weather  

The location of the house near the sea presented a unique set of requirements related to the property itself. Since the weather conditions can vary considerably from one season to another, Vesa-Pekka wanted automatic defrosting for the gutters – which was controlled using the ABB-free@home® system.  

The weather station functionality of the system measures light, wind speed, temperature, and precipitation; the data it collects is then used to control ABB-free@home® devices or trigger specific scenes. Thanks to the automatic defrosting, the house's gutters work even when a freezing cold period is followed by heavy rain. In this way, the water is removed from the property's structures and does not remain on top of the ice.  

The new house has large windows that let the sun in. The weather station controls the closing and opening of the curtains, drawing them automatically if the sun shines too much during the summer. This not only saves on energy costs, as the home does not need to be cooled, but it also further improves living comfort.  

With ABB-free@home®, convenience and sustainability are coupled with safety. The system includes a water monitor that cuts off the water supply if it detects an excess leak, giving residents peace of mind

Sensors and lights create comfort  

ABB-free@home® offers convenience as standard, particularly in a two-storey home, where lights on both floors can be adjusted and turned on and off from anywhere in the house via a mobile phone or tablet. No more running back downstairs from the upstairs bedroom before going to bed to make sure the lights aren’t on.  

Vesa-Pekka, however, went one step further in his state-of-the-art home in Oulu. Rather than searching for his mobile phone at night to adjust the lights, motion detectors were installed in the bedroom at foot height on both sides of the bed. Now, when anyone gets out of bed in the dark, the sensors detect the movement, and the lights automatically turn on, illuminating the route to the toilet and the refrigerator!  

Basic lighting can be operated at the touch of a button; in this way, turning the lights both on and off is always convenient when inhabitants leave the house or when they return. In addition, the home-away function within the ABB-free@home® system controls internal ventilation machines, saving time and energy.  

The home appliances are also linked to the system. The oven is connected to the network via the building's Wi-Fi, turning on the kitchen lights when the oven door is opened and then turning them back off when the door is closed – another fun and practical addition made possible with the integration of two different (but very smart) systems.

1 ‘For ABB and Samsung, decarbonization begins at home’ – Lucy Han, Executive Vice President for Building and Home Automation Solutions at ABB, Sept 2023


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